Submission Deadline: Monday, November 12, 2018 11:59 p.m.

The Children’s Bureau’s Champion Awards honor those working to improve the overall health and well-being of our nation’s children and families. The Children’s Bureau (CB) is committed to refocusing our nation’s child welfare system on strengthening families’ capacity to care for their own children; reducing the numbers of children traumatized by abuse and neglect; and breaking the inter-generational cycle of trauma and maltreatment. Achieving these goals is only possible through the hard work and commitment of many partners across the country.

The CB will honor agencies, community-based organizations, businesses, courts, individuals, parent leaders, or others who have made an exceptional contribution to promoting the health and well-being of children and families. Awardees will be publicly recognized at the 2019 National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect for their contributions to Strong and Thriving Families, the theme of the 2019 conference. Awardees will also be recognized on the official website of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), social media, and other CB information dissemination channels. In addition, they will receive a commemoration of their award in the mail.1
1 There is no monetary component to the award.

Award Catagories

Awards will be given in five areas:

Preventing Child Maltreatment. Nominations in this category will have demonstrated a commitment to prioritizing families and focusing on primary prevention activities that, through flexible funding and community-based services, strengthen the protective capacities of all parents and help all families thrive. This could include efforts to reach out and engage families before they come to the attention of child welfare, to address the structural issues that place families under stress, or to change community norms and practices around supporting families.

Reshaping Foster Care as a Support for Families. Engagement with the child welfare system should have positive impacts on children and families—equipping parents and caregivers with enhanced protective factors, skills, and supports to safely care for their children and improve child well-being. Even when parents are unable to keep their children safe at home, children need to feel connected to their parents, siblings, and relatives. Nominations in this category will have demonstrated a commitment to keeping families meaningfully engaged and connected, even when out-of-home care is necessary. Contributions could be in such areas as support to birth parents to address the stressors that brought them to the child welfare system; kinship care; promoting healthy relationships between birth and foster parents; providing timely and successful reunification; and reducing unnecessary removal and trauma.

Promoting Child and Family Well-being. Supporting the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of all children and families is a priority. Nominations in this category will have demonstrated a commitment to promoting the social, educational, economic, behavioral, cognitive, and relational well-being of children and families, including addressing trauma, strengthening protective factors, and building resilience.

Building Community Capacity. A wide array of stakeholders and systems must work together, guided by the communities they serve, to build programs and systems that get needed supports to families where they are and when they need it. Nominations in this category will have demonstrated a commitment to initiatives that leverage diverse community-based partnerships to better serve children and families, including those that reach rural communities, engage non-traditional partners, or move beyond traditional services.

Supporting the Workforce. To serve families well, we must have a strong, competent, and healthy workforce. An effective child welfare system requires social workers, attorneys, and other service providers to have adequate supports and supervision, manageable workloads, and the skills needed to do their work well. Inspired, competent leadership can garner the support of community partners, staff, and families on the path to meaningful and sustained improvement. Nominations in this category will have demonstrated a commitment to supporting the workforce in ways that enhance workers’ effectiveness and well-being.

Eligibility

Nominees may be either individuals or groups such as child welfare agencies, community-based organizations, businesses, government agencies, or other collaborations or partnerships. The CB encourages nominations representing a diversity of backgrounds, communities, and perspectives, including: diverse professions or fields of practice; urban, suburban, and rural areas; racial and ethnically diverse populations; and involvement at the national, state, and local levels. Parent leaders and others with experience in the child welfare system who are working to make a difference in the field are encouraged to apply. Please note that Federal staff and Federal contractors are not eligible for the awards.

Submitting a Nomination

Submit your nominations beginning Friday, September 10, 2018, and NO LATER THAN 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 12, 2018. Anyone may nominate one or more candidates. Self-nominations are welcomed. Only material submitted through the online portal will be considered.

The online nomination form requires a detailed description of why the nominee deserves to receive a Champion Award. To the best of your ability, respond to each of the selection criteria for the awards. You may be as creative as you wish in conveying the information, but please be specific and provide clear examples.

Please present the information as if the reviewer knows nothing about the nominee. Supplemental or supporting material that demonstrates the impact of the work, including articles, letters of support, and website and video links etc., may also be submitted through the portal.

Please follow the Nomination Instructions in the CB Champion Awards announcement on page 4 to begin the nomination process.